Plan your holiday to Sicily now
So you’re vaguely planning a holiday in Sicily but aren’t sure about the best things to see and do, or how easy it is to get around. You’ve heard about the long hot summers, of course, and the delicious food and wine, but where are the best beaches and are some parts of the island better for sightseeing?
The truth is that you’ll find great beaches and interesting thing to see and do wherever you stay in Sicily, but these are just a few ideas to get you started.
Experience Sicilian street food
Nothing showcases Sicily in quite the same way as its street markets. Expect a lingering smell of frying, jostling crowds and the ringing in your ears of calls of street vendors. Take a street food tour in Palermo, through the markets of Vucciria, the Capo and Ballarò, but also through some of the city’s lesser-known streets and squares. If you’re staying in or around Catania on the east coast, the city’s fish market is a dream for market browsers and foodies.
Visit a Greek temple
The Valley of the Temples at Agrigento is Sicily’s most dramatic ancient site, comprising an archaeological park with eight temples. But sometimes, less is more, which perhaps explains why Segesta is considered by many to be the island’s most enchanting Greek site. Standing in splendid isolation against a backdrop of rolling hills and sea views, limited information is available about the Doric Temple which goes some way to explaining the sense of mystery which surrounds it. Stay nearby at Case Fil, a stylish villa with an 18m pool, set amongst vineyards and olive groves.
You can enjoy good wine wherever you are in Sicily. However, several key regions are best-known for their wine growing and wine-tasting experiences, including the area around Palermo, stretching down to Marsala, the Val di Noto for its Nero d’Avola, and Menfi in the south west.
Over on the east coast, on the fertile lower slopes of Mount Etna, you’ll find some of the greatest Sicilian wines at a diverse range of wineries. Stay between the coast and the volcano’s lower slopes at the supremely luxurious Casa dei Sogni, a sophisticated 5-bedroom villa with a pool and plenty of child-friendly diversions.
Visit a UNESCO World Heritage site
Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country, and seven of them are in Sicily. This includes the Aeolian Islands and Mount Etna, as well as the Baroque towns of the Val di Noto. These eight towns in south east Sicily, rebuilt in the Baroque style of the day after the 1693 earthquake, are all quite different – but each quite beautiful. Don’t miss the honey-hued elaborately carved buildings in Noto or the teetering palazzi and churches in Ragusa Ibla. Stay in the heart of the action in our holiday apartment for rent Piazza Duomo 36 overlooking the main piazza in Ragusa
or closer to the coast in the stunning Rocca di Pietra.
Swim in crystal-clear water
While you can expect warm clear water along much of the coast, a couple of places stand out as truly exceptional. To the south of Syracuse, the coastline around Fontane Bianche Beach, the Vendicari Nature Reserve and at Capo Passero features almost translucent water. Choose from a selection of villas that have direct access to the water such as Villa Renata.
For a more thrilling dip, consider canyoning, river trekking or body rafting in the translucent water of the Alcantara River.
Take a boat trip
Take a good look at Sicily from the water. A boat trip is a lovely way to while away a day in the sun, stopping off at secluded bays for a dip or at little fishing villages along the way. Choose from a selection of mini-cruises to the offshore Egadi or Aeolian Islands, fishing excursions or chartering a luxury motorboat to explore the Bay of Taormina.
Experience nature at its best
Get back to nature with a coastal walk in the 7km Zingaro Nature Reserve in the west or, on the east coast, in the Vendicari Nature Reserve where flamingos flock in the spring and autumn. Close to Vendicari, Cavagrande del Cassibile is a spectacular canyon oasis with emerald green icy water.
Sicily’s two principal mountain ranges, the Madonie and Nebrodi Mountains are home to pretty mountain villages and dramatic views and a world away from the coastal scene. Choose from a selection of villas in and around the seaside resort of Cefalù for easy access to towns such as Castelbuono in the Madonie.